For Immediate Release: January 8th, 2008
Contact:  Medea Benjamin (415)235-6517 Linda Belgrave 305-801-0245 Dana Balicki (202)422-8624

Veterans, Lawyers, Activists Call for Closing of Guantanamo Prison--Protest at US Military Southern Command in Miami

On January 11, the International Day to Shut Down Guantanamo, protests will be held outside the US Southern Command in Miami and all over the country. Six years after the first prisoners arrived at the infamous prison—their orange jumpsuits now synonymous with unconscionable acts of torture—veterans, lawyers, activists, and family members of detainees are calling for the closure of Guantanamo, with two days of visual, powerful actions around Guantanamo's HQ at Southern Command.

Press conference Thursday, January 10 @11am, La Quinta Inn & Suites- Miami Airport West, 8730 NW 27th St.
Speakers: Ret. Colonel Ann Wright, Medea Benjamin of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and Global Exchange, Iraq veteran Camilo Mejia, Santiago Leon from Miami for Peace, a representative of Amnesty International, and lawyers who have represented Guantanamo detainees
Evening event Thursday, January 10 @7 pm, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Miami, 7701 SW 76th Ave.  Same speakers as AM Press conference
Protest action Friday, January 11 @7am-9am rally, 9am march to the gate, meet at NW 87th Ave and 36th St, Doral in Miami, near the Southern Command. Great Photo opps and vibrant visuals, including activists in orange jumpsuits and black hoods!

"All prisoners deserve humane treatment and fair trials, which is not happening in Guantánamo," says retired US Army Colonel Ann Wright. "US federal courts, not military commissions, should hear the cases against those charged with terrorist acts and the infamous prison in Guantanamo should be immediately shut down."
Last January CODEPINK Cofounder Medea Benjamin led a first-ever international delegation of former prisoners, families of prisoners, and human rights advocates to Guantanamo, Cuba to hold a conference on prison abuses and to protest outside the US Naval Base. Since then, Omar Deghayes—whose mother and brother were part of the delegation—was released after 6 years of detention without charge or trial. "I do not have hatred toward Americans," wrote Deghayes in a statement to CODEPINK upon release. "I know that many Americans worked hard for my rights and for the rights of other prisoners. I ask that you continue to work hard to ensure that due process is provided for all prisoners and to force the closing of the prison in Guantanamo."

For interviews contact Dana Balicki at (202)422-8624 or  For information about US and other international protests on January 11, see<><>   or contact Matt Daloisio, 201-264-4424.